The EV startup is getting ready for UK and US assembly, just as the competition arrives on the scene.
- Arrival achieves certification for its planned electric Bus in the UK, with the electric Van model not far behind.
- The startup plans to produce its EVs in the UK and US, with stateside production start slated for the fourth quarter of this year.
- Arrival also plans to introduce an EV for ride-hailing drivers, with plans to begin production in 2023.
UK-based electric-vehicle startup Arrival revealed this week its planned Bus model has achieved certification in the European Union and is conducting trials on closed courses ahead of testing on public roads. Scheduled to be the first to see a commercial launch, the model is now in the trial production stage, with Arrival expecting customer models to materialize in the second half of the year.
The startup also said its Van model is over 70% of the way through its certification process and is expected to enter production in the third quarter of this year.
Arrival, which has recently picked Charlotte, North Carolina, for its US headquarters and local production facility, expects to begin assembling its Van model in Charlotte by the fourth quarter of this year after production starts in the UK in the third quarter.
Arrival has already installed all the robotic tech required for assembly in the UK, with plans to begin outfitting its Charlotte plant in late summer.
“Our ambition is to create better electric vehicles people love to use and our vision is becoming a reality with the Arrival zero-emission Bus being our first product to achieve certification, a critical milestone for our Bus to be driven on public roads with passengers,” said Denis Sverdlov, Arrival founder and CEO.
Arrival’s large Bus model is seen here in prototype form, slated to be produced in Europe.
As it gets ready for the start of production in the UK and the US this year, Arrival is still spending lots of cash, but it posted a loss of just $10.4 million this quarter, compared to $1.1 billion in the first quarter of 2021. The startup still expects a loss of $185 million to $250 million this year, amid capital expenditures of up to $420 million, if all goes well and production of the two models starts on schedule.
Like other startups, Arrival faces the problem of having revealed concepts back when no competitors were producing similar vehicles, and is now approaching production in a markedly different world, when some competitors in relevant segments have already come to market. Battery-electric buses have been in production for some time, while the electric delivery van segment has now seen several players in recent months, including GM’s BrightDrop and Ford’s E-Transit.
Arrival’s planned EV hatch is expected a little later, aimed at ride-hailing drivers, at least in theory.
In the case of the Arrival Van, it’s probably BrightDrop that the startup has to worry about in the short term, though Arrival certainly has its own hoard of orders to rely on, including 10,000 from UPS.
There is one other Arrival model we haven’t mentioned yet, and it’s arguably the one that will be of most interest to private EV buyers: the Arrival Car, which is planned to be a purpose-built model for ride-hailing drivers.
Slated to enter production in 2023, the electric hatch looks like it could interest buyers other than ride-hailing drivers if it were to be offered for sale. As a tall hatch, it might actually see the most interest from private buyers, as there are not many crossovers of this particular bodystyle on the market at the moment.